Nico Rosberg has topped the final day of the Austrian pre-season test at the Red Bull Ring. The German, who won the Austrian Grand Prix 3 days ago, beat the best time set yesterday by Pascal Wehrlein in the same car by almost 2 seconds on account of much improved and drier conditions than the torrential rain seen at some points yesterday. His time was 1.3 seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton’s pole position time last weekend.
Esteban Gutierrez was behind the wheel of the Ferrari having been signed as their test driver in the run up to this season. The Mexican completed 110 laps with a best time that put him 2nd fastest near the end of the day which was less than 8 tenths down on Rosberg.
Third place was the only driver out of the 9 in the session who failed to complete over 100 laps. Having topped the time-sheets for most of the day, Valtteri Bottas complete 79 laps which was over the Austrian Grand Prix distance of 71 laps, but it was still the lowest tally of the day.
Fourth fastest was a man making his Formula One debut behind the wheel of the Toro Rosso. Reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann had a very productive first day behind the wheel of F1 machinery as he completed 158 laps of the circuit; a tally which exceeds two Grand Prix distances. Max Verstappen also completed the highest number of laps behind the wheel of the Toro Rosso yesterday.
Wittmann was a tenth faster than fellow DTM driver Pascal Wehrlein, who switched from Mercedes to Force India for today’s session. Wehrlein completed 132 laps behind the wheel of the B-spec Force India car, with the team reportedly very impressed with the car that will make it’s debut at the British Grand Prix in a week. Jolyon Palmer was just behind Wehrlein for Lotus, with the British driver completing 110 laps with a best time just under a tenth slower than Pascal.
Propping up the time-sheets were a trio of current Formula One drivers. Fernando Alonso had a very productive day behind the wheel of the McLaren-Honda, with the car remaining free of mechanical issues for the second day in a row; a far cry from their issues that plagued them during last week’s Grand Prix weekend. Alonso even managed to better his qualifying time by a marginal 2 hundredths. Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Nasr took the final two spots on the time-sheets, with the pair completing 116 and 138 laps respectively.
With the teams all getting in valuable date and laps over the past 2 days, they will be hoping that they have learned a lot before their next on-track action in Friday Practice at Silverstone next week for the British Grand Prix.
Austria mid-season test day 2 time-sheets: